Ice Cream Expo
10/12/2004, Kodera-san, my co-worker
Just a few words about my friend, Kodera-san. She is an office worker at my school. She sits about 8 feet from me. She speaks only Japanese, but she is always extremely helpful and often "translates" paperwork and notices for me. In other words, she reads it and explains it in easier Japanese that I can understand. She is fluent in Alex-ben (the Japanese dialect spoken by Alex), meaning that she can understand my Japanese, even when it's not quite right. And, she's always available. I don't know what I'd do without her. She lives in Kamigori, the small town of 19,000 people where my school is situated. She grew up here. She went to Kamigori high school. She likes Japanese pop music and often does little pencil-and-paper math puzzles, the kind you find in magazines. If you ever meet her, you'll know right away that she's a small town girl. Kodera-san is fairly traditional for her age. I learn a lot from her. She attends a local class in tea ceremony. Occassionally, she advises me about cultural mistakes or other Japanese etiquette issues. Once, while eating rice, I set my chopsticks down in a way that offends many Japanese people (straight up). She promptly let me know. (The problem relates to a Buddhist ritual performed after someone dies. It is truly offensive, if you understand the background.) I was quite grateful for the advice. Without Kodera-san, my chopsticks would have sat there for a while and I would have offended many people. She's really great.
|Kodera-san making a notice of some sort, as part of her duties here.|
|One of Kodera-san's math puzzles. I added this picture 11/3/2004 at the request of a friend here in Japan.|
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